Delhi to Jhansi – Road Review

February 07, 2009 By:

Table of contents for Delhi - Khajuraho - Orchha - Gwalior - Delhi

  1. Delhi to Jhansi – Road Review
  2. Jhansi to Khajuraho – A Road Review

The joke of the month is, by fellow Ghumakkar Srijan , that I do not get train tickets. The Indian Railways ticket reservation software refuses to let me in. And I am probably one of the few people after MKG who seem to have been thrown out of the great Indian Railways and left to the terrain of NHAI (National Highways Authority of India) and their likes. Joke over.

We wanted to go to Khajuraho and there is (well there was) no train connection beyond Jhansi and that was our motivation (read excuse) to drive all the way from NCR (Ghaziabad, UP). I would break the road-review in two sections since lot of people prefer to train to Jhansi and then drive further to Khajuraho with mostly preferring a night halt at Orccha, that Bundelkhandi old world town which hardly moves.

Ok, first things first. Here’s the route.


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Delhi – Mathura – Agra – Dholpur – Morena – Gwalior – Datia – Jhansi

The whole route can be divided into five sections.
1. Getting out of Delhi/NCR (National Capital Region)
2. Delhi – Agra (NH2)
3. Agra Bypass (NH2 to NH3)
4. To Gwalior via Morena,
5. Gwalior – Jhansi (NH3 to via Gwalior City)

1. Getting out of Delhi/NCR (National Capital Region)
Distance – Few KMs.
Time – Some time
Quality of Tar – Very good

Getting out of Delhi depends on your starting point. Ask for Ashram Chowk on Ring Road and then take Mathura Road from there. Depending upong the time of the day, the traffic from Ashram to Badarpur could be worse to frustrating. As you get past Badarpur, sanity returns.

2. Delhi – Agra (NH2)
Distance – 200 KMs
Time – 2.5 hours
Quality of Tar – Excellent

As has been covered multiple times at Ghumakkar, you get past Palwal, a little traffic before Kosi Kalan, in no time you are at Mathura and before you realize it, you are done with this section . The trick to do this section quickly is to start very early so that you can skip past Palwal before it wakes up and avoid the truck-trade-tax bottleneck at Kosi. We did this trip while the Sun was not out and it was a little foggy but you could cruise at high speed since the quality of the road is excellent. You need to watch out for petty traffic as you pass through some of the small towns, villages but overall a very peaceful drive. After Mathura, you need to turn right. Though there is a right sign for Gwalior, this sign is not very conspicuous so pay extra attention past Mathura.

Mathura Refinery in the background. McD on NH2 @ Mathura

Mathura Refinery in the background. McD on NH2 @ Mathura

.
Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

If you want to break for a quick grab then ‘McDonalds’ makes a good choice since there is a play area for kids, there is a fuel pump, a couple of petty shops is what I remember and overall a lively and active place any time of day.

3. Agra Bypass – Gwalior (NH2 to NH3)
Distance – 40 Odd KM
Time – 1.25 hour
Quality of Tar – What tar, there was none.

It was still pretty early so we could see the early morning action with people getting ready to start their day. We passed through a village, some sub-urb of Agra and left it after about 10 minutes of drive. This bypass connects the legendary Delhi-Kolkata (NH2) with another legendary Agra-Mumbai (NH3) and I was hoping that as I leave the village/kasba, I would be taken to a freshly baked tar which would connect me to NH3. But law of averages caught up and we found ourselves on a stretch which looked straight out of a old classic movie. Essentially a broken road, actually broken is a very polite and mild description, but anyway, so a broken road with fields on both sides, an occasional tea-shop or a small village to give company and zero traffic. We were sure that we are onto something which is not ours so we asked few times and were very dilligently told the same thing. So we continued.

Railway Phatak on the road which connects NH2 and NH3 at Agra

Railway Phatak on the road which connects NH2 and NH3 at Agra


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

As our seasoned traveler (read driver) brain relaxed after the initial shock, we could appreciate the natural virgin barren beauty around, with villagers having a game of cricket, two railway crossings with manual barriers, tempos having 10 passengers and a heavy dark green Mahindra Scorpio cutting its way through, trying to avoid moon-craters without falling in the ditch which ran alongside both ways.

After a while we noticed that someone is making a parallel road and probably things would improve but this part of ride did wake everyone.

4. To Gwalior via Morena, Bhind
Distance -100 KM
Time – 1.5 hours
Quality of Tar – Very Good.

As we hopped to NH3, we could not believe that we can now drive like most of the urban-weekend-travelers (who wants to be a roadie for more than 2 hours, anyway). We proceeded, a flyover was being done so it took a while to cross that but now we were back on a very good highway.

Bed n Breakfast

Bed n Breakfast


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

Time to take a break and be done with the breakfast. As with our most of the long distance trips, we carry our breakfast with us. Freshly made Idlis, Bread with Jam, Tea and munchies. We try to find a big and clean petrol pump so as to give some running room to Kids and to find a clean loo. Park the vehicle in a corner and spend 30 odd minutes in the Sun. We were lucky to find a good place and the owner extended the warmth by giving us a khaat (wooden bed) for kids to stretch and be very more at home. A few short conversations with fellow pump guys, the occasional taxi drivers (I always ask them the mileage they get from their vehicles, I dont know why), try to peep through the Amar Ujalas or Rajasthan Patrikas and be done with.

We were now in our 2nd leg of journey and as we cruised through Dholpur, we realized that we are now in a different landscape. Dholpur has been a kingdom of yore and has a long drawn history. The town was as dusty and non-descriept but for certain structures which did made one remember the royal connection. We were now in Rajasthan and it was not long when we found ourselves out of Dholpur and close to the Phoolan Devi range.

Rafting Camps on Chambal River

Rafting Camps on Chambal River


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

Though I have heard about Morena and Bhind, but it was the first time when I could find myself over Chambal. The valley which once was famous for all the wrong reasons now lies in oblivion in terms of being talked about. The terror bed now proudly hosts tourist rafting camps. As we drove over the Chambal river, we could not miss the ravines jutting out from all over.

Ravines of Morena - Bhind

Ravines of Morena - Bhind


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

By now the Sun was in its full glory and the terrain was getting interesting and I never miss those long boring high-speed highways, so time to enjoy the little-bit-rocky up-n-down roads and vast and unending ravine views.

We quickly went past Morena and Bhind and entered Gwalior. We were now in Madhya Pradesh. Since we had to go to Jhansi, time to leave NH3, get into the city and look for NH 75.

Gwalior was clean and not very rushy during our first encounter but probably we were not in the thick of things because on our return journey, we ventured into the main city to take a quick look at Man Mandir Palace and had a real taste of Gwalior. With the help of Nokia Navigator and confirming the results at every turn, we found ourselves out of Gwalior and on NH 75, towards Jhansi.

5. Gwalior – Jhansi
Distance – 80
Time – 2 hours
Quality of Tar – Mixed (Its MP afterall)

So far we were on two very important highways leaving the bypass and the city part. Initially it was NH2 (the famed Delhi-Kolkata GQ) till Agra and then it was Agra-Mumbai (NH3). Now we were on NH 75 which doesn’t compete with its elder cousins and hence on NH 75, there is no need to be quick. Infact you can’t be quick since most of it is single and tar quality can be best summed as mixed. But this section was the one which had some distinct character. As you look either way, the uninterrupted view of Mustard fields treat your eyes, as you pass through the villages you start to get a feel of ravines’ laden landscape with dry jungles, long no-traffic stretches, no tolls and virtually amid the real big Indian plains.

Datia Mahal on the way to Jhansi

Datia Mahal on the way to Jhansi


Photo Courtesy – Deepender Sehajpal

The high point is Datia, the fort which will follow you for a while. We had a long drive to do so we didn’t stop anywhere but I would recommend that if you could, try making a short haul. Celine, has written a very brilliant post on Datia at her blog. She suggested to stop there but I had to keep moving because I wanted to cover as much ground as possible during the day. Now we were in 2nd half of day and in terms of overall speed we were doing good but it was getting a little tiring. Sometimes its hard to believe that you were at Delhi not too long ago.

We entered Jhansi and one could not miss the numerous arms shops each selling rifles and what not. The town didn’t impress much, it was as dirty and traffic-y as any other small town. A hard search and we found a restaurant to take a grub before we finally head towards Khajuraho.

So from the history laden Delhi-Agra to old Dholpur, calm Chambal, Royal Gwalior and Bundelkhandi Datia, we were finally at Jhansi. Since you read this much, let me know in which state Jhansi falls.

A drive well spent.

About Nandan Jha

Nandan Jha has written 113 posts at Ghumakkar.

Well traveled.......is what I would want to be tagged as, definitely far shorter of that as of now but hoping to reach there. Also, I genuinely believe that traveling builds tolerance, we do more of it, we build more tolerance, we build more peace, one trip at a time. Google

18 Responses to “Delhi to Jhansi – Road Review”


  1. Patrick Jones says:

    Detailed description, as usual. Very useful.

    However, the usual pics are missing; a good shot of the ravines and the mustard fields would’ve looked good.

    Coming after Dholpur in Rajasthan and Gwalior in MP, location of Jhansi was an enigma to me for a long time but the regular trips by Kerala Express made me familiar with the layout. As you have not offered any prizes for the correct answer, I’m leaving it to someone unfamiliar to the area.

  2. Nandan Jha says:

    Yes, the pics are with my travel-mate and as soon as I get it, I would put them up. I know a supporting pic changes the whole landscape.

    It didn’t occur to me that I offer a prize but since you mentioned it, I would think about it. :)

  3. Piper says:

    Lovely post! I have been on this track several times (mostly because I have relatives in Jhansi) and the highway continues to enchant me. Love going thorugh the ravines. BTW Jhansi is in UP but neighbouring Datia and Orcha (Tikamgarh District) are in MP

  4. Amit Agrawal says:

    Hi,
    Well I just want to inform you that in this route you would never get bhind because bhind is 100 km away from morena. So please rectify that you got bhind on that route.

  5. nandanjha says:

    Thanks Amit. You are right. I would do the edit. Thanks again.

  6. nitesh sharma says:

    Thanks dear…it was very useful to me…

  7. Che Guevara says:

    My Motorcycle Club is planning a trip to Khajuraho and would use your road-review for our Ride…

    You are surely a superstar when it comes to road-reviews…keep the great work going…

    Cheers…
    Che

  8. James Sam says:

    It is very good explanation about the Journey to Jhansi from New Delhi. We are also used these ways by road to reach Delhi-Jhansi-Delhi. Photography of Mr. Deepender Sehajpal are very much useful and good snaps.

    Congratulation !If we are not part of Solution then we are the Problem

  9. nandanjha says:

    Drove today morning. Started from Delhi at 5.30 and reached Jhansi at/around 1330 hrs.

    NH2 – NH3 connection is very good, very good tar.

    Gwalior – Jhansi is pathetic. The plan is to have a good connection between NH3 and NH75 but that is still work-in-progress. If you can avoid, then please avoid traveling till the roads are done, else be patient and go steady.

  10. Ravijit says:

    Gwalior to Jhansi is around 100 kms but this bombed out stretch of cavities worsened by the recent rains, takes around two and a half hours to cover. Faster to ride a bicycle!

  11. Dear Nandan,

    I didn’t know that even road reviews could be enjoyed but after all if it is coming from your pen, I must expect something extra-ordinary coming my way.

    It is really baffling for anyone to know that you started from Ghaziabad (U.P.), entered Delhi (NCT), passed through Faridabad, Palval, Vallabhgarh (Haryana), entered Mathura and Agra (U.P. again), passed through Dholpur (Rajasthan), entered Morena and Chambal, Gwalior, Datia (M.P.), and then again at Jhansi (U.P. again), Orchha, Shivpuri and Khajuraho (M.P.). I have lived in Jhansi for 3 years between 1980-83 and had thoroughly enjoyed visiting Datia (Sonagiri hills, actually where there are 108 Jain temples), Orchha and also Khajuraho.

    Now, before I say goodbye to you and a bouquet of thanks for this great post, let me tell you that I am going straight to meet Celine on her post recommended by you.

  12. Bhramar Vatsa says:

    Hi Nandan,

    Since I read this blog before going on my trip to Orcha-Khajuraho, I think I should add my experience here.

    I travelled to jhansi from Ghaziabad on 22nd December. I took the gorgeous Taj Express Way to reach agra entry point in approximately 2 hrs. I needed around .5 hrs to cross Agra. I was at Gwalior in around 5 hrs from start time.

    The most horrible part started then. I would suggest everyone to take the Gwalior-Shivpuri-Jhansi route instead of direct Gwalior-Jhansi route. Although the distance is double, you would probably take less time and spend same amount of fuel. Also, it will certainly keep your car in much better shape .. :-). I came back from Khajuraho by Khajuraho-Chatarpur-tikamgarh-lalitpur(halt)-guna(halt)-shivpuri-Gwalior(halt)-Agra-Ghaziabad.

    Please remember not to take Gwalior-Jhansi direct route at all costs. I heard from one of my relatives at Gwalior that the road is not expected to appear till next loksabha elections-2014.

  13. harish says:

    iam i want to go from delhi to jhansi by road but samebedi told me the road is not god after gwalior plz reply me thankyou

  14. Nandan Jha says:

    @ Harish – Yes, my understanding is same. Delhi – Agra via Expressway is excellent, Agra – Gwalior is good. Gwalior – Jhansi is bad, is what I know.

  15. Harpal Singh says:

    Hello All,

    Is there any other route to reach Jhansi from Agra WITHOUT going to Gwalior….???
    As the road (infact no road) is pethatic in Gwalior – Jhansi route, I would like to bypass that route. Please suggest….!!!
    Last weekend I travelled from Hyderabad To Delhi via road and I took this route:::
    Hyderabad > Nizamabad > Nagpur > Seoni > Sagar > Lalitpur > Jhansi > Gwalior > Agra > Delhi

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

    TIA, Harpal.

  16. Nandan Jha says:

    Hi Harpal,

    If you want to go to Jhansi then probably there are not good other options (taking the circuitous route via Shivpuri is an option) but if you are headed for Nagpur then you can do Agra-Gwalio-Biora-Bhopal-Betul-Nagpur.

    More here – http://www.ghumakkar.com/delhi-to-hyderabad-by-road/

    Wishes, Nandan

  17. I did Satna to Delhi via Panna, Bamitha ( Khajuraho turn) ,Chatarpur, Nowgaon, Mauranipur, Orchha, Jhansi,gwalior,Agra on 01-Jan-2014. There is No road between Jhansi to Datiya to Dabra. I took 4.5 Hours in covering that stretch , it was a nightmare. I do not see the road coming up in another 2 more years at least. My car got bumped several times ( ford fiesta).It was so pathetic that I abused NHAI several times.
    One more important update here is that on NH75- between Mauranipur to Nowgaon (I don’t remember the exact village name ), A bridge is broken on NH 75. Hence the Traffic movement is happening from mauranipur(NH75) to Nivari to NH75 back , which is apprx 30 Kms Village road. All Khajuraho going traffic via Jhansi from Delhi has to take this route. Though the village road is Ok, but at some places my car couldn’t handle the big potholes and got bumped. There is a giant speedbreaker at railway crossing where my car was almost hanged in between.



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